Carrot Ranch dishes

She washes the dishes in a blinding blur of tears, performing the same routine as yesterday and the day before…

Today is different though, she muses as she dries her hands on a towel. Today she is finished with being the passive recipient of her husband’s baleful glares and grinding criticism. He moved out this morning and served her with divorce papers.

At first, she was flummoxed by this sudden dismantling of their lives, however unsuited they were, but as she tidies the house, she feels light and free.

She makes herself a jam sandwich… on the good china.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for the Carrot Ranch Story Challenge (99 words with dishes) and Denise’s Six Sentence Story (link on Wednesday).

Romantic Share [syw]

romantic toast

Di @ Pensitivity101 has a new set of Share Your World questions for us, relevant to the hearts and flowers celebration coming up in a couple of weeks.

1. Do you consider yourself to be romantic?

This is a tough question for me ~ the answer is yes, but… I do not like “forced” romance, such as a man being unromantic generally and then shoving a box of candy at me on February 14. That’s not romantic! In fact, token gestures like this only serve to remind me that we aren’t a good match.

In my (totally unrealistic) ideal, romance would be an ongoing state of mind, with lots of affection, kindness, sweet talk/texts, cute poetry/lyrics/links, thoughtful acts, etc., all happening on a daily or at least weekly basis. I’m totally responsive to this kind of behavior and return it in kind, though I’ve never experienced it for long. Maybe it’s not sustainable… I don’t know.

Anyway, in that scenario, Valentines would be part of the whole package, not something to do once a year because the marketers got to you.

2. Do you send cards on Valentine’s Day?

I used to give cute cards and gifts to my daughters, but that’s pretty much faded away. I don’t randomly give out Valentine cards to friends or others.

3. Would you spend a considerable amount of money on a single red rose for your beloved?

If I knew he would appreciate that, sure.

4. What is your idea of a romantic evening?

The traditional dinner at a nice restaurant, including lovely conversation, followed by the clichéd moonlit walk works for me. Or it can simply be sharing a bottle of wine at sunset in a peaceful environment. Mainly it involves being alone together and focusing on each other, not the news or work or other people/problems.

5. Gratitude: I’m thankful I survived the dating/relationship wars with only minimal PTSD.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

TMP93: Ducks

TMP monday peeve kitty cat

Welcome to my refreshed Monday Peeve! Unburden yourself of an annoyance and you’ll feel better afterward. Or not. Complain in my comments or crab in your own post. Doesn’t have to be on a Monday. You do you.

I like ducks… in parks, where they belong, but not in our pool! There’s a huge park nearby with a big pond, but for some reason we have a zillion ducks here. To be fair, all the water here isn’t part of the pool… there’s a waterfall and a pretty rock pond, which is fine for ducks ~ if only they’d stay in those areas, but nope. Yesterday again when I went down to get the mail, three ducks were chilling in the pool. It’s so icky to imagine going in the water with all that duck poop everywhere; I honestly do not understand how anyone could, or even worse, let little kids go in there. Yuckity yuck yuck! I know the water is chlorinated and filtered, but still it’s blech! YES, the ocean is also disgusting (however beautiful), since it’s full of fish poop, seal poop, people poop, and dead bodies of god knows what, which is why I don’t go in there either.


©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #204

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge

Welcome! I am temporarily hosting the FFFC while Fandango recuperates. Please join me in sending good vibes to Fandango with the hope that he’ll be back in top blogging form ASAP. In the meantime, I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenging bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

This week’s photo is credited to Fill1970 on Pixabay. It depicts two women seated at a table in a restaurant or at a gathering with one telling the other a secret. People mill about in the background.

Women whisper at a table in a crowd

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Kindness Counts


In today’s Sunday Poser, Sadje asks the following questions about good deeds:

How do you pay any good done towards you, forward? Do you try to pay it forward, or back toward those who are kind to you?

Usually, I reply to the Sunday Poser directly in Sadje’s comments, but this one is more complicated. It may sound odd coming from me, a person who is generally obsessed with numbers and counting, that I don’t “count” good deeds or kindnesses done to me. Is that weird? I just don’t. So where does that leave us?

When a stranger holds a door for me or does some other spontaneous kindness, I will of course smile and say thank you. But I do not count up these incidences in order to make sure I do the same number of them in return. In my view, it’s “normal” to be nice and also to receive ordinary kindnesses in the course of a day. What’s abnormal is when people are nasty or grumpy for no reason, or maybe they have one that doesn’t involve me, but that’s the sort of behavior I will notice. I guess it’s good I notice nastiness or grumpiness because it means that nasty, grumpy people are not the norm, at least not in my corner of the bubble.

Regarding my behavior, I am mostly polite, friendly, hold doors for neighbors, hold the elevator at work, etc. It’s just in my nature to do these things, though I’m not particularly “smiley” about them because… I’m just not. My typical expression is neutral or even serious. I don’t walk around with a grin on my face, probably due to the fact that I’m often in pain. I guess people are judging me on that. Whatever. The point is I do the nice things without regard for how many have been done for me. I don’t weigh up how much politeness I “owe” the world against how much I’ve received. That seems really strange to me! Either you’re a nice person or you aren’t, and other people’s actions shouldn’t factor into it. I don’t mean I smile at someone who gives me the finger in traffic; but neither do I “punish” the next person I meet by not holding the door.

So, no, I don’t worry about paying things forward or back or any which way. I try to behave in the same decent manner every day, and in general other people are relatively nice to me as well.

As my loyal readers know, I’m not inclined to make forced chitchat with store clerks and bank tellers. I find that annoying. They are not interested in my reply and are simply following a script. My script is to be as non-responsive as possible in these situations. I don’t consider that kind or unkind on either of our parts. They are following directions, while I am choosing to not reveal info to strangers. This actually came up yesterday at Trader Joe’s when the clerk asked me what I was doing that afternoon. So ridiculous. I said just chilling. Why the hell would I reveal actual plans to this person? But I know some people will consider my attitude on this to be unkind (it isn’t).

Anyway. You can see my response was way too long for a comment! Not to mention the fact that I’m somewhat careful what I put in other people’s comments because I can’t control the replies as I can here.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Sunday Dawdles

Virtual reality metaverse headset

Rory @ Earthly Comforts has a fresh set of Morning Dawdler questions for us today.

Should we fear the arrival of more progressive AI [Artificial Intelligence] or embrace it?

I don’t know. Everyone has a strong opinion on this, but who knows what will happen in reality, as opposed to sci-fi? No one. I choose to wait and see how it goes. So far, it doesn’t seem to be too threatening, only amusing, but it’s too early to predict. One thing I might be inclined to worry about is financial fraud. If AI can imitate a voice, a face, and guess all our passwords, then that could be a disaster for everyone, much worse than what we are already dealing with in this area.

How much time do you spend sitting each day?

Most of my waking hours are spent sitting. I suffer with chronic pain and do not exercise much at all. I understand that “they” say I would feel better if I moved around more, but every time I try it, I feel worse.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
[Having Children not included]

I am proud of my recovery from financial and emotional setbacks later in life. Neither recovery was easy to achieve, but I worked hard at both, with my main motivation to avoid being a burden to my daughters (who are both lovely people and I take pride in that too).

Are/Were you the youngest, middle, oldest or only child?

I am the only child of my parents; however, I learned at age 25 that my mother had another daughter 10 years before me, in Ohio, when she was 20 and unmarried. That baby was given up for adoption, and I tried to find her on Ancestry, but so far there has been no response.

I am sad to think I will never meet her or get to talk to her. It would be nice to know what she looks like and if she has any children.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.



Australia lover
Leave your taipans down under
We have toxins here

Send antivenom
His blue gaze paralyzed me
I don’t want a cure

Sharks in the water
Crocodiles lurk at my door
He’s on a plane home

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Haiku set written for the Min Min Weekly Prompt at Six Crooked Highways (Australia).

SLS: Red Balloons

Red balloons sky

Jim continues his Song Lyric Sunday series with the prompt of New Wave. One of my favorites from this genre is Nena’s “99 Red Balloons” (1983). The band is German and the song/album was originally recorded in German, but I’m sharing the English version today. These lyrics were written by Kevin McAlea and are not a direct translation.

You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we’ve got
Set them free at the break of dawn
‘Til one by one, they were gone
Back at base, sparks in the software
Flash the message “Something’s out there”
Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by

The song hit No. 1 in many countries, and in the US it peaked at No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100. It is considered a one-hit wonder in the US, but the band has had many other hits in Europe. Their name is the nickname of their singer Gabriele “Nena” Kerner. All info is from Wikipedia.

99 dreams I have had
In every one, a red balloon
It’s all over, and I’m standing pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you, and let it go

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.


Ice bubble frost

Los Angeles ice
Glitters in the golden dawn
Disappears by noon

Ice clinks in your glass
Amber liquid frees your words
Better left unsaid

The ice on my hand
Burns cold in this silent room
Let it melt away

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Haiku set written for the Naturalist Weekly.

More than Coffee by Lauren Scott

Women friends coffee talk chat

Sometimes a writer has such an engaging style that you feel you’re old friends after reading them. That’s the way I feel about Lauren Scott after finishing her memoir More than Coffee. Her vignettes and poetry are so honest and vivid that it seems she must have shared the stories in person, over coffee of course. I teared up when I read her parents’ love story, and I was right there with Lauren when she found a tarantula in her house (eek!). Lauren and I are about the same age with adult children who have moved away (though happily both of mine are only around an hour’s drive), so I can relate to many of the emotions she describes about being a parent and transitioning from living with your children to helping them leave the nest.

I’ve followed Lauren’s blog for a while, but like many of us I lazily read her posts as they appeared in my reader without actually visiting her site. Thus, I did not even know she had books for sale until she posted the link to a review by Mark Bierman. The review intrigued me so much I bought Lauren’s book, and I am glad I did. It was such a pleasure to savor this rich and tasty brew, redolent with love, loss, adventure, hope, and, above all, family bonds.

Thank you for sharing your life so beautifully with your readers, Lauren.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.